With Three Flights To Batajnica, A Volga-Dnepr An-124 Cargo Has Delivered Six “New” MiG-29 Fulcrum Jets To Serbia

Oct 05 2017 - 24 Comments

These are the first new (used and for the moment disassembled) combat aircraft for Serbia since 1987.

Three pairs of partially disassembled MiG-29 Fulcrum jets destined to Serbia have been transported to the Batajnica airbase, near Belgrade, Serbia, aboard an Antonov An-124 airlifter to be taken on charge by the Serbian Air Force.

The six used jets have been gifted by Russia, and will have to be overhauled and modernized before they enter service in Serbia: reportedly, the aircraft will be upgraded to the SMT standard, a multirole variant that, along with the N010M ZhukM radar it features a big 950-litre spine CFT (Conformal Fuel Tank), an in-flight refueling system, a “glass cockpit” and a IKSh-1M HUD (Head-Up Display). Along with the R-27T medium-range IR-guided air-to-air missiles or the extended-range R-27ER/ET AAMs, or up to six RVV-AE AAMs, the MiG-29SMT can carry “dumb” or guided air-to-surface weapons including two Kh-29T/L, up to four Kh-25M, or two Kh-31A7P missiles, or up to four KAB-500 guided bombs.

However, Serbian aviation journalist Petar Vojinovic says the MiG-29s will only get minor upgrades:

This is not the first time the Russia supported the Serbian Air Force’s Fulcrum operations: back in 2014, the Serbian Mig-29s returned to active service after being grounded for months, thanks to the accumulators donated by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Serbia could also receive 30 battle tanks and 30 armored vehicles donated from Russia, and it’s been negotiating the procurement of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft systems: Moscow tries to strengthen its ties with Belgrade and somehow resist NATO’s expansion in the Balkans.

According to Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin the MiG-29s will be unveiled at Batajnica during the celebration to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade in WW2 on Oct. 20.

The An-124 that carried the “new” combat aircraft to Serbia belonged to the Volga-Dnepr, an airline based in Ulyanovsk, Russia, that provides air charter services with a fleet of ten Antonov An-124, five Boeing 747-8F and five IL-76TD-90VD.

Flying back and forth to Serbia, the An-124 RA-82045 delivered the three pairs in three days: the first one was delivered on Monday Oct. 2, the second on Tuesday Oct. 3 and the last one on Wednesday Oct. 4.

All the flights could be tracked online on Flightradar24.com.

The route flown by the An-124 to deliver the disassembled MiG-29s to Serbia as seen on Flightradar24 by means of the ADS-B transponder.

H/T Dragan Mejic for the heads-up


  • leroy

    A lot of drag created by that fat wing root/glove area. No wonder the F-15 can run circles around it!


    • Pepe Le Cox

      Only in your dreams, why do you think that the US pilots were warned in Desert Storm, to avoid get into a dogfight vs Irak’s MIG-29? And by the way, this is a completely different aircraft with avionics, radar, and missiles upgraded. In Desert Storm, the Irakis were badly armed mostly with only R-60MK missiles and a few R-27R/T, in the encounter of Rico Rodriguez and Underhill vs a solo MIG-29, the Iraki pilot, Jameel Sayhood only had this short range missiles.

      • leroy

        You mean starting at 23:00 where 2 F-15s kill 2 MiG-29s? lol!! Let me tell you something Mr. Playstation. I’ve never met an Eagle driver, and I’ve met many, who would run away from a MiG-29. MiG-29 is no match for F-15, and the combat record proves it. Now please – move along. Your comments are causing clutter!

      • leroy

        BTW – F-15 drivers were never “warned” not to engage MiG-29s. That’s a lie! They may have been told about the aircraft strengths (few) and weaknesses (many), but NEVER were they told “to avoid get into a dogfight vs Irak’s MIG-29.” You MiG and Sukhoi fanbois, America-haters, are hilarious! Jealous? Both! lol!! : )

        • Pepe Le Cox

          Was “Rico” who said that statement in one of dogfight’s serie videos. Watch the one flying over Serbia.

        • Pepe Le Cox

          The statement is in the above video, minute 23:47, and I quote: “Eagle fighters were avised not to get into close quarter turning fight with fulcrums, if they could avoided”. Please dont cry, take your Xanax first

          • leroy

            First off, you always want to avoid a WVR engagement – a “dogfight”. No matter how well you are able to maneuver. What do you think today’s fighter pilot aspires to become, the next Manfred von Richthofen (“Red Baron” – to help you)? Always better to get your enemy at BVR or through an advanced section/team tactic. You can’t learn BFM or Advanced Air Combat Tactics and Maneuvers while playing X-box!

            Anyway, they were told a better way to defeat them, and it wasn’t turning. I won’t tell you the prefered tactic. But NEVER were they told not to engage a MiG-29. And YES the Eagle can take a MiG-29 in a turn. Did you miss the part in that video where the F-15 and MiG-29 got into a downward (decreasing altitude) TURNING spiral dogfight? One initiated by the F-15 driver (Eagle on tail of MiG)? So much for your “don’t engage in a turning contest with a MiG-29” misinformation!

            F-15 has no problem whatsoever beating MiG-29 in every flight regime. But in all instances always better to avoid close-in fighting.

            BTW – that documentary gets a lot of things wrong. Who do you think made it – the USAF? Not everything was disclosed, for obvious reasons. Lots still classified. Don’t be so naive.

          • leroy

            Funny how the Eagle has never had a combat loss. Not even to a MiG-29. You’re a funny guy! : )

      • Darko Bargo

        yeah no kidding, large wing root area? First hand accounts from Western pilots who flew the Mig29 in E. Germany attest to the fact that the Mig29’s maneuverability was one of the very few things the aircraft excelled at. The problems with it were extremely short endurance, (as low as 20 minutes if kept at full AF from wheels up to touchdown on the firs gen.), the pulse doppler radar was garbage with 70km max range, and worst of all the abysmal situational awareness based on an antiquated flight controls . Based on what I read the pilot spent most of his effort just keeping the aircraft flying . His tactical awareness was supposed to come from ground controllers, which is to say you’re 2 or 3 moves behind your opponent at any given time. Excellent coverage of all that here
        I think it would be a mistake to compare the aircraft described above with a new Mig29SMT or especially Mig35. Now whether these models stand a chance against the the latest version of F16-15 or Typhoon, I really don’t know.

        • rats123

          Sigh, you need to do more research. Read this and have a cry.


          My favorite part is

          “But when all that is said and done, the MiG-29 is a
          superb fighter for close-in combat, even compared with aircraft like the
          F-15, F-16 and F/A-18. This is due to the aircraft’s superb aerodynamics
          and helmet mounted sight. Inside ten nautical miles I’m hard to defeat,
          and with the IRST, helmet sight and ‘Archer’ I can’t be beaten. Period.
          Even against the latest Block 50 F-16s the MiG-29 is virtually
          invulnerable in the close-in scenario. On one occasion I remember the
          F-16s did score some kills eventually, but only after taking 18 ‘Archers’.
          We didn’t operate kill removal (forcing ‘killed’ aircraft to leave the
          fight) since they’d have got no training value, we killed them too
          quickly. (Just as we might seldom have got close-in if they used their
          AMRAAMs BVR!) They couldn’t believe it at the debrief, they got up and
          left the room!”

          The 29 was designed for close in combat and that is where it excelled.

    • Ethan Mclean

      LOL, too bad you yanks use the same windroot config on your comparable role light fighter – f-16. If you (leroy) were smarter (or less of a troll) you’d know/admit that one should compare f16 to mig29 (light vs light) and f15 to sukhois… but alas…

  • persiflo

    leroy, you are insulting my intelligence. And most likely that of other readers as well.

    • leroy

      And that fish posted by Holztransister. You find that enlightening? My Persian friend – how about trying the “Block User” function?

  • Holztransistor
    • leroy

      Yeah, and I remember a couple of months ago when you were crying your eyes out to Mr. Cenciotti because you said I was engaged in personal attacks on you. Crybaby!

  • Pepe Le Cox

    In fact the Cessnas were registered in US, and piloted by “Brothers to the rescue” organization, a Cuban MIG-29UB intercepted and shootdown two with R-73 missiles


  • Thanos

    240 mil/aircraft??? Noway, for the total of 6 maybe (40mil/aircraft)

    • Pepe Le Cox

      It could be. You’re right

  • Darko Bargo

    I think it’s cool David (or someone else?) found that flight path. From what I can see they only got close to the Ukraine border in one place, but never crossed over. Then again, if you were Russian, crazy and reckless to cross that line and really unnecessary.

  • rats123

    A Mig 29 shot down a Tornado in Gulf War 1.

  • James Gartland

    They weren’t so “defenseless “when they brutally attacked their neighbors, which may not of been your point,but I feel it’s important to point out,both were bullies who then we’re confronted by the victims much tougher freind

    • Darko Bargo

      I’m not defending the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, but in the the case of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia having ” brutally attacked it’s neighbors”, I really have no idea what you’re talking about and neither do you. The attack on Yugoslavia was a war crime and that’s why it was done without UN approval. Since that precedent, we have had many other raging success stories like Iraq War, Libya, Yemen, and as a result, rise of ISIS, flood of refugees and terrorism into Europe, etc. This whole world would be better off without so much “success” of the USAF.

  • nikoliy

    I have worked with the AN-124 in 2004-2005, when they flew supplies for USN and USAF from Norfolk air station. Its very close to C-5 but was easier for ground crew to work with. For the C-5. the best way is to load a 60k loader first then use it to load the aircraft. for the AN-124 the internal crane and the titanium reinforced floor lets the trucks just drive up and load directly. The Antonov also seamed to do the startup procedure faster.

  • leroy

    Iraqi fighter pilots had something way more important – COMBAT flying experience. They had it and U.S. jocks, who didn’t, beat the living sh_t outta them so bad they ran their crap Russian equipment off to Iran, or buried their planes in the sand.

    You need to do some bookwork. If a pilot can survive his first 5 air-to-air encounters his chances of survival go way up. Fear of the unknown disappears, and experience gained settles you in. Confidence goes up. The Iraqis had that experience from fighting the Iranians (not that Iranians are much at flying and fighting, but still) and American pilots, new to combat, still kicked their keisters straight to the gates of hell. Like shooting ducks in a pond.

    It’s called superiority, we have it in many areas, and it’s what gives the USAF, USN, and USMC air-dominance over any opponent on Earth. You can have stupid opinions my off-base friend, but there ain’t no stupid facts!